There were many ambitious plans on what to do on our last day in Pucón, and I am pleased to say none was carried out whatever. It was pretty cloudy (in case I get homesick of the lovely London weather), and that took all motivation to explore the surroundings away. Both Steve and I wanted to see the National Park nearby, but it was too much hassle finding transport there. Could also hire a car for another soak in the hot springs nearby - but I don't think Steve trusted me with map reading nor packing his togs again. So made a feeble attempt to see a lake, whilst in the Lake Districts. It was only a short walk, but we didn't stay long. It was a bit cold, and I didn't last very long walking in the water of the Lake Villarica. Apparently it was also too cold to climb a tree - even a very easy one.
Instead dog-magnet Steve attracted the attention of a couple of dogs whilst playing in the (childrenless) playground. They attracted other dogs too further down the road - or should I say, were chased by other dogs. But anyway they followed us around town, and they even took turns guarding the door to the cafe, whilst we were consuming some energy.
Found out what a near-luck escape we could have had, when I met Richard (England) at the bus station to San Martín de los Andes the next day. He was looking for a hospital nearby, his Aussie friend Ross explaining that Richard had rabies. I thought he was joking, but Richard was serious. A random stray dog had jumped on him in Pucón, giving him a quick French kiss before being pushed off again. Afterwards he became worried that the dog might have been carrying rabies, since ahem, they have had an exchange of bodily fluid. So off to the local clinic for some emergency shots. But he wasn't given enough to last the whole course, so he was in search of another hospital. Since he's only a new Spanish learner, I offered to help with translating at the hospital with him.
Oh, did I mention that I had finally got into Argentina??? Two months late (from an earlier plan), three weeks, or a few days late - depending on which schedule I had failed to meet. Managed to buy the last seat for the bus, and poor Tessa and Jeremy had to put up with me sitting so close to them. Luckily for them, I was occupied with my book, so more or less left them alone.
First impression of Argentina: it's a "ladies first" country! When we piled into the immigration office to get our entry stamps, the officials announced that all the ladies should go first! Apparently the last time when Tessa crossed, they called out the names of each passengers in turn. It's also not very efficient neither. Four officicials were crowding round two computers. One obviously didn't do very well with his listening tests at school, cos he was in need of some extra practice by typing out whatever his superior was dicatating to him. Passport numbers and such, very exciting stuff! But we figured it's because it's such a quiet crossing, they had to find some ways of entertaining themselves!
Anyway, when our bus pulled into Punín, where I was to change buses, was told that the onward bus to Bariloche had already gone. So back onto the bus again, to spend the night at the relatively nicer San Martín. Was pretty horrified to see how neat and nicely kept San Martín was - it's quite a shock to the system to find one spending a night in some poshy wealthy place after being used to living in poorer Peru and Bolivia. I wasn't very impressed. But I am sure the Argentines are happy that their living environments are pretty nice though.
Shared a chalet with the other travellers on the bus. Brother and sister Greg and Kat, and Ross and Richard as mentioned earlier. We were all just passing through, so didn't spend much time seeing San Martín in the touristy way. Was quite happy to see an old London Bus in the Plaza offering a tour of the city though! For me, had some intensive practice adjusting to the Argentine accent when at the hospital with Richard. Later in the evening, spent a lovely evening in a nice restuarant. Ross was keen to try out some steak, but in the end, no-one had steak. They chose more exotic sounding dishes like deer, rabbit and mountain goat instead... and of course, a couple of bottles of the obligatory Argentinen wine!